There is lots of positive news coming out of Argentina, and with President Mauricio Macri at the helm, the country is finally re-engaging with the world. A number of key economic indicators look favourable – inflation is falling, for example – and international investor activity is increasing; IP professionals are already experiencing an uptick in trademark business. There is also a new figure at the head of the National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) – Dámaso Pardo – who has quickly set to work improving the body’s efficiency while also promoting intellectual property as a business and economic tool that local innovators should be leveraging.
This firm has “grown significantly in recent years; it is heavily involved in the development of trademark law and practice in Argentina and, for its clients, provides highly commercial advice”. One US foreign associate comments: “Having worked closely with the firm, I can say that it demonstrates excellent trademark knowledge and strategic judgement.” The collective experience of a high-calibre panel of senior experts makes Berton Moreno really stand out, with each partner bringing something special to the table. Alberto Berton Moreno has outstanding sector expertise – in sports and fashion, for instance – and has been exceptionally diligent in running the practice as efficiently as possible. He also thinks holistically about brands, and not just within the narrow confines of black-letter trademark law. Enrique Gatti, considered among the best litigators in Argentina, is an authority on competition law, as well as intellectual property. Marcelo García Sellart is the set’s key anti-counterfeiting expert, while Juan Berton Moreno has a knack for getting new clients in the door and keeping them happy, thanks to his strategic brand-development prowess. In November 2017, the set added Juan Carlos Ojam and fellow partners Mercedes Bullrich and Raquel Flanzbaum, and rebranded as Berton Moreno + Ojam. Ojam is a repository of trust for big-name US brands that require guidance in Argentina and the wider region. Bullrich is service minded to the last and never leaves a client wanting for a response or a solution. Flanzbaum can be deployed with confidence in any trademark circumstance and contributes much with her insight on prosecution and litigation.
Marval O’Farrell & Mairal There is only one world-renowned firm in Argentina when it comes to intellectual property, and that is Marval O’Farrell & Mairal. “There are lots of good reasons why it is the number- one player, including the deepest bench of IP experts, and the sheer sophistication of its senior professionals.” The unsurpassed scale of the firm’s brands practice means that it can handle anything you can throw at it; in all its activities, the group’s ability to manage and mitigate risk – and be crystal clear about what it is doing – really sets it apart. Latin America IP doyenne Iris Quadrio is a particular master at this – within the context of her clearance and opinion work, for example – as is Sergio Ellmann, a connoisseur of IP strategy with a deeply analytical mind. Marval’s enforcement practice continues to shine too, as you would expect with Gustavo Patricio Giay at the helm. He is “one of, it not the most important player in Latin American IP enforcement”, but he has lots of talent around him, too; his right hand is Martín Chajchir, a Customs intercepts maestr who also maintains a well-rounded IP litigation practice.
Many international companies investing in Argentina have regional IP needs, which Moeller IP Advisors is in pole position to meet; the firm has bases in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, alongside a web of carefully selected associates in other Latin American jurisdictions. Its team is admirably diverse and includes lawyers, trademark attorneys, translators, technical specialists and IT consultants to guarantee that it can provide considered advice that covers all the angles. On the trademark side, prosecution – and related administrative disputes – form the bulk of the workload; even on matters that are more routine, the team finds ways to surpass expectations. Victoria De Lasa Andrés is the steady hand on the trademark department’s tiller; she supervises the team’s work with a hawkish eye for quality. Ensuring the welfare of clients is legal department lynchpin and business development ace Mariano Municoy, who has a strong understanding of US IP systems.
In the opinion of one highly ranked foreign associate, Noetinger & Armando is “head and shoulders above its peers in Argentina, taking into account the pragmatism and commerciality of its advice, and the speed with which it is delivered”. Intellectual property is its primary area of focus and the set provides rigorous advice on any concern which falls under this umbrella. Luminary Fernando Noetinger and Matías Noetinger know trademark law cold and provide clear-sighted advice on brands as part of their A-to-Z IP practices.
Award-winning boutique O’Conor & Power provides one of the most personal and bespoke IP services you can find in Argentina. This is partly a function of its compact size, but is also down to the modus operandi of founding partner and leader Santiago O’Conor. His excellent team is the darling of many international brand owners thanks to its clear communication style, fluency in English and – of course – its granular expertise on trademark protection and enforcement. O’Conor has fostered a group that exhibits creative thought at every turn – another compelling reason to come here.
PAGBAM | IP – the former firm of INPI chief Damaso Pardo – protects its clients’ IP rights with unswerving dedication and diligence. The approach here is multidisciplinary; there are no sharp boundaries between different experts or divisions of the organisation, which is therefore able to make the most of all available tools to deliver success. Strong leadership is instrumental to the success of this model, and it is readily supplied by Fernando Alonso. He is as up to date as it is possible to be on relevant case law, policy developments and legislative changes, giving his counsel a contemporary and immediate feel. He is flanked by Paula Fernández Pfizenmaier, who strengthens legal security for a wide range of goods and services.
Here is a selection of quotes from the many clients and foreign associates who line up to sing the praises of Palacio: “The firm’s services are cost-effective, time-efficient, precise and professional.” “The team replies immediately and always has great suggestions for overcoming issues quickly and smoothly.” “It handles every case with care.” Acclaim is also heaped on the leading individuals here: Diego Palacio is “really approachable, and an outstanding professional who calmly solves difficult cases with excellent creative thinking”. Leader of the legal, litigation and patent section Mingo Palacio is an “awesome negotiator and smart enforcer” and “the go-to man for tough cases”. Managing partner Héctor Palacio is “exceptionally experienced in all aspects of trademark law, and there is nothing he can’t do”. Mercedes Durlach is also “very seasoned and quick to respond” and “provides perfect solutions”. Collectively, the team offers a balanced contentious/noncontentious service not just in Argentina, but also internationally.
Richelet & Richelet has been in the IP protection game for nearly 80 years and has made quality its central principle throughout this time. Ongoing investment in modern and efficient systems has allowed the firm to maintain its high standards and make a name for itself on the front line of IP protection. While Richelet’s trademark capabilities are comprehensive, patrons of the firm also benefit from expertise in areas such as unfair competition law and consumer law.
Other recommended experts
Top-tier Spanish firm Herrero is making waves in Latin America. Its Buenos Aires bureau is manned by Guillermo Alcaraz, a former INPI legal adviser with an intimate knowledge of the office’s workings. Melisa Litvin of Litvin Legales makes her first appearance in the WTR 1000 thanks to a glut of highly positive feedback. According to one source, “I have worked with Melisa for over a decade and can honestly say I have never once been disappointed by her work or service. She is readily accessible and responds promptly to all correspondence.” Another associate says, “We sell our services on the basis of efficient and timely advice and demand the same from our foreign correspondents – Melisa and her team provide us with exactly what we need.” “She has an amazing work ethic and is a warm and genuine person who practices law with integrity.” “Wonderfully creative” is the verdict on Héctor Ariel Manoff of Vitale, Manoff & Feilbogen. He works across the IP spectrum and is particularly respected for his litigation dexterity.
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